I am touched by the lovely card you sent me from across the seas. Thank you so much for your heart-felt words of love and gratitude. I am so happy that the work you started many years ago has finally come to its fruition. Your persistent effort and will to continue the work despite all the delays and challenges finally paid off. I am very happy for your well-deserved accomplishment, and grateful to have been a small part of the process in its early days.
Thank you for the beautiful gift you got for me when you visited your son in another distant land. The fact that you thought of sharing with me a little memento from your time spent in the warmth of your family’s love says so much. With this little gift of love, acquired in one part of the world, transported to another and finally sent with such sensitive care to yet another part of the world, you have tied together three different outer places. But more importantly, the spirit behind your gesture speaks to me of three different ways of overcoming inner distances — with gratitude, remembrance and love.
Gratitude, for all that the other has given one in one’s journey, no matter how long or how little or how far the two traveled together.
Remembrance, for staying with that feeling of gratitude, because it is so easy to forget in our rush to move on to the next excitement of life.
Love, for what is love without gratitude and remembrance.
I remember the times and talks we shared together, sitting in my office or on the steps of the building entrance. I am reminded of our works together, of learning with and from each other. I am reminded of the joy we experienced in our roles, that of a learner and a facilitator, and of the ease with which these roles often switched. Yes, they did. Because without that there wouldn’t have been this connection that manifests today — in your sending the card and the gift from so far away, and in my writing these words. After all those years.
I remember some words I had read some years ago. Words from a teacher and seeker, someone whose words you and I must have also read together at some point in our shared learning journey, all those years ago.
“I don’t know exactly where you are on your journey. But I suspect that your journey, like mine, is towards trying to come into a deeper understanding of what it means to live divided no more. If we can come to a deeper understanding of what this decision might mean for us in the context of education, we will have done something well worth doing.”
~ Parker Palmer, The Grace of Great Things: Reclaiming the sacred in knowing, teaching and learning
I think in our own little ways through our given roles as learners and facilitators, we each tried to do something worth doing. In our meetings, in our discussions, in our emails, in our works. In the context of education. In life, which is an education. None of that could have happened if we didn’t remember to do it in love. With love. Love for the purpose that joined us in our different journeys when we walked together for a few years. The purpose of wanting to “live divided no more…the decision to no longer behave differently on the outside than one knows one’s truth to be on the inside.” (Palmer)
These words make me feel happy today that we knew a little bit of each other’s journey back then. These words make me feel content that today after all these years even though we may not know much of each other’s journey, we know for sure that we are still trying to walk the path of gratitude, remembrance and love.
Thank you for remembering.